Thursday, March 5, 2015

Budgeting: Servers & Other Cash-Paid Employees

budget servers operation twenties

You’ve just dealt with the worst people for 6+ hours. Kids have thrown food on the floor. Couples have sat on the same side and then complained about not having enough room to put all their food. People have taken 100 different angles of their food and then talked about how said food was cold. Customers have tipped like shit despite your constant smiles and perfect service. You’ve sucked it up. You earned that money. You deserve it. Pat yourself on the back. There you go, good job.

The problem is now you have to figure out how to pay for everything and still have some extra money. Every server ends up having some type of system. Over the past three years of serving I’ve developed my own. It can get a little complicated, but it works for me.

bugeting for serversStarting off you need to figure out how much money you are currently spending on rent, utilities, bills, food, gas, etc. I just did an estimate of what I used to spend a month when I wasn’t living at home. Afterwards, I divided that number by the average number of shifts I worked a week. Once I found that number I divided it by 4 (4 weeks in a month) to find the minimum I needed to make a shift to get by. 

budgeting for servers

I found that I needed to make $57.50 a shift to pay my bills, not starve and have gas in the car to make it to my next shift. I just rounded this number up to $60 to make the math a little easier. 

Then I got a hold of a few envelopes (basic mailing ones are fine). I titled one “Rent/Utilities” and one “Food/Gas”. I wrote on each envelope that I need to put at least $30/shift in each envelope. 

To check our math I multiplied $30/shift x 5 shifts per week = $150/week x 2 envelopes = $300 a week x 4 weeks a month = $1200/month. That’s about $50 extra per month of  leeway room to keep you safe.


Well first off, shout out to you! That’s awesome (especially in 6 hours shifts? That’s $10 an hour!) 

I usually put about 25% of whatever I have left over AFTER saving into a savings envelope. For example, let’s say I made $120 in one shift. I would take out the $30 x 2 ($60) that I need to put in the other two envelopes and then multiply 60 by 25. 

budget for servers

If my math is correct, I would put $18 into the savings envelope and still have $42 left over to spend! I usually keep that in my wallet until my wallet hits $100 and then I take whatever is over $100 and put into my checking account. I just don’t like to have more than $100 in my wallet at one time. Safety precaution.

I try to do the 25% savings amount every single time I work just because that money adds up and it’s always good to have extra money. Even if you only made $80 after the two envelopes you would only have to put $5 into savings and still have 15 dollars extra. 


UM. I never thought this would be a problem that needs saving (lol….) but I have a solution. At the end of every three months on the last day of the third month (March, June, September, December) I deposit the savings envelope into a savings account for safe keeping. It’s really awesome and a great feeling when you go to deposit that money and you realize how much you’ve saved! 

I keep my envelopes in a safe place in my room hidden away in another folder. No one knows where it is hidden except me. I guess I’m a little paranoid about losing my money. 

I hope this helps any of you servers or other cash-paid employees save money! If you have any questions, please let ya girl know. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have! 


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